Innis & Gunn Hopped Bourbon Cask Ale
Innis & Gunn

Innis & Gunn Hopped Bourbon Cask AleInnis & Gunn Hopped Bourbon Cask Ale
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Style:
American Amber / Red Ale
Ranked #181
ABV:
7.4%
Score:
84
Ranked #25,251
Avg:
3.81 | pDev: 13.12%
Reviews:
24
Ratings:
47
From:
Innis & Gunn
 
Scotland, United Kingdom
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
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Gots
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SCORE
84
Good
Innis & Gunn Hopped Bourbon Cask AleInnis & Gunn Hopped Bourbon Cask Ale
Notes:
View: Beers | Events
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 47
Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark orange brown body, largely transparent, with a tan head, very long lasting, with curtain lacing, tight bubble sheets.

S - Subtle wood and bourbon, medicinal hops, sharp alcohol trail.

T - Follows the nose, melding into tea and molasses, booze and dark fruit, with a mild bitter close.

M - Some carbonation, moderate body, just enough dryness in the close to scrub the weight of the sticky barrel aspect.

O - A decent ride, that has aged nicely. Solid.

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Photo of beergoot
3.79/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tawny, ruddy hued body; one-finger + thick head, dense and creamy; nice sheets of lacing along the glass. Caramel aroma; roasted grains; vanilla. The flavor mirrors the aromas along with a dense, fruity sweetness; black cherry; some woody bitterness. Heavy body; syrupy yet very approachable.

I didn't pickup on any of the fruity aromas (i.e., ripe cherries, plums, orange, lychee) but it did have a caramel presence. Perhaps it was because I had this past its "best before" date of June 2017. Still, this beer brings on some rich flavor notes. It has a heavy sweetness (not cloying or forceful) counterbalanced with some woody, nutty qualities. A fine, malt-forward beer that goes down well on a cold winter evening.

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Photo of REDAMI
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 16.9oz bottle into Chimay goblets.

L - Deep red pour with a foamy head that dissipates quickly.

S - Caramel, smoke, wood, bourbon vanilla, malts.

T - Tastes like it smells, finish is more grainy malt than hops. Some bitterness, but not palate nuking.

F - Smooth, not cloying, moderate carbonation.

Overall, a pleasant experience. The flavors are there, but slightly muted and well blended. Not as overwhelming as most bourbon cask ales.

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Photo of BGDrock
3.21/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Red/brown mahogany body, hazy, and builds a thick almond flesh head, but reduces to film within a minute.
Aromas of prunes, dates, banana - it's gonna be sweet.
Big, sweet, malty backbone; sauteed banana, toffee, candy sugar; only a touch of dry hop bitterness in the finish helps it not be TOO cloying; medium body and light carbonation.
It's has typical Innis & Gunn toffee and super sugary malt flavours, but with some grasp at balance.

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Photo of mpyle
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Deep amber color. Brilliantly clear. Pours big creamy off white head with great retention.

Sweet boozy nose. Like candy bourbon.

Flavor matches the aroma, lots of caramel sweetness and a hint of barrel. Hops are very subtle and in background, but are there. Finishes smooth and slightly sweet.

Medium body and fairly low carbonation. Quite creamy and smooth despite a bit of alcohol warming.

A nice smooth malt bomb. A little sweet for my taste. Held onto my bottle for a while before trying, so hops may have faded.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-in duvel glass.

A: Dark bourbon-tea colored pour is accompanied by a frothy, walnut toned capping of lasting appeal. Inside, a fair amount of macro-bubbles that rise briskly, and a minimal amount of lace stickage on the vessel.

S: A strong wiff of bourbon and rum sugars first appear on the nose, sweet buttered vienna malts, toast, with some afterthoughts of a pear yeastiness. Fair in strength, with some dry sugar canes, and some brown sugar sweetness on the finish.

T: The flavor is rum sugars and bourbon, lightly dry, sweetly toasted vienna grains with beautiful accents of bourbon that are in the goldilocks zone, very complimentary with spicings of cardamon and cinnmaon alcohol. Toasted oak, buttery barrel wood with some caramelized brown sugar and a light earthy, fresh hopping and fruitiness. Spicy caramel oak, coconut, cardamon and rum soaked fruit finish out.

M: Rich malty mouthful, heavy on the medium side, creamy malts, gentle, quiet carbonation is very relaxing to hold.

O: A very well balanced beer in terms of the malt, bourbon influence, spicing, where everything flows in a seamless transition. Very good drink-ability. Having experienced a few of their beers now, previous examples I thought were always light and watery on the tongue, with a very minimal bourbon influence, this one definitely had a bit more body and noticeable bourbon influence then others. Very good 87 overall from me.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Boxed
16.9 oz. Bottle
Limited Edition
Best Before: 30 June 2017

Poured into a goblet a pretty nice translucent brown color, pretty nice carbonation, with a pretty nice small light tan head, which leaves some small island and some minimal sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some cherries, plums, figs, slight yeast, slight oak. The taste is pretty nice, malty, kinda yeasty, with some cherries, figs, plums, some oakyness, nice little sweetness. Medium body, ABV hidden very well, with a nice little dry/bitter finish. Overall, a very nice brew, but not what I paid for. I like the bottle/box though.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
4.26/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very deep hazy, kinda veiled, dark brown color with a reddish hue but no visible activity. Slightly creamy beige 2-3 finger head, lasting around 5-10 minutes, with light legs and some good lacing. Flavors of vanilla, caramel, plums, dark berries, lemon, slight clove, soft oak and molasses, nutmeg, cinnamon, wheat, barley and herbal hops. Slick and oily medium body with soft prickly and crispy carbonation. Strong finish, a bit dry with light earthy and herbal spicy feel, heavy sweet brown sugar and dark fruits like some lingering dark cherries. A mild straw and wet grains feel that's not too coarse. Heavily bready with some rather high leafy bitterness on the tongue that last a moment. Feels like a complex amber, resembling a mild barleywine, with some appetizer qualities. Nicely executed and refined, although the body is a little on the thin flat side, a bit too oily. Subtle bourbon feel, just the right strength I think. Quite tasty and warming while still decently fresh. Really well balanced but not very accessible. Overall excellent quality craft.

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Photo of JMMOlenick
4.55/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle, in a Collins glass (no pub glasses available at the time)

Look: surprisingly dark, just lighter than cola, similar to maple syrup. Slightly less head retention than expected.

Smell: pleasant, similar to taste but much lighter.

Taste: delicious, rich; malty, with noticeable ripe cherry (as the label says), cola, and maybe chocolatey notes.

Feel: only slightly thinner than expected, but warm from the high alcohol content.

Overall: excellent beer.

Afterthoughts: you wouldn't know from the taste, but based on the label this beer is both dry-hopped, and partly wheat-based. Also, this beer was stupid expensive (£5=$6.25 for 330ml), but we're judging quality here, not cost-efficiency.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the bottle in a snifter. This nice little ale pours a clear dark ruby color color
with touches of cola and a nice head of off white foam that settles to a thick ring,
thick pool, and features light lacing. Nose of cola, figs, sweet malts, vanilla, and subtle
bourbon. Flavors follow the nose with light exception; cola notes and bourbon mingle
nicely with vanilla and oak notes while figs and dates bring up the rear with light brown sugars
and mild herbal and grassy hops. Decent mouth feel; medium body, low carbonation, smooth,
and a dry herbal finish.

The hop notes are spot on and mild, however, while I like this I can not escape the cola
comparison. It is good, balanced, and smooth---- but it is not everyone's cup of ale.

Cheers

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Photo of russpowell
3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a crimson-hued caramel with a thumb of tan head, good head retention & lacing

S: Smell is nuetral

T: Slight cola flavor dryness, faint woody hops up front, along with a little caramel. Caramel & woody hops, plus dryness as this warms; a little fig too, as well a leafy hops. Finishes dry with leafy hops, & a little cola sweetness, faint raisin & figs as well

MF: Medium body, slight carbonation

Not bad, but not a good value, so this is a take it or leave it beer for me

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Photo of Harrison8
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, rich burgundy, but is dark enough it becomes difficult to see through. Head forms a little over a finger in height and khaki in color. Lacing forms in small dots, but that's it. Aroma has dark fruits, plum, bourbon, with a zinging mash of biscuit and bready malts. Lots going on in the sugary, sweet aroma. Flavor profile has caramel, toffee, plum, bread and biscuit malts, and searing pine and fruit hops. Bourbon is present, but at a very, very low volume. It bounces back and forth between overwhelmingly sweet and sucker-punching bitter. Mouth feel has some carbonation fizz to it, with an otherwise smooth, medium thickness consistency. Overall, a promising beer, but with its lacking balance between sweet and bitter, it could be far and wide better. The flavor profile could be considered a wild card, with how bipolar and back and forth it is on the palate.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of Radome
4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L – Dark amber color with some red; brilliantly clear. Medium tan head piles high but then quickly breaks down. Some lacing and “legs” on the glass.

S – Aromas of bourbon and vanilla give an impression of sweetness. Low, fresh, earthy hops in the background.

T – Malt almost completely washed out by the bourbon and vanilla flavors. Base beer cold be a malty old ale or lighter barleywine, but maltiness has difficulty breaking through. Sweet brown sugar and a bit of nuttiness. Some low hops flavor and moderate bitterness are still evident and combine well with the barrel notes.

F – Medium to heavy body that coats the mouth. Low, smooth carbonation. Strong alcohol presence, but not overly hot.

O – Very nice bourbon character that has rounded all edges but has also overpowered the base beer. The “hopped” character of the name only shows through as a low aroma and flavors.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
2.91/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Cherries, vanilla, cola and oak. Smooth feel. Fairly dry. Somewhat bitter. Tastes kind of watered down. Super short finish, which tastes like nothing. Eh.

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Photo of DMarlinJ
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This tasted fine but it is a bit watery in the mouth feel and thin. Weak barrel notes too. Not as much depth in flavor as I would expect for a good craft ale but it still was easy to drink.

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Photo of opieo
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I don't believe the hoppiness pairs as well with the bourbon oak. A malty brew works better with bourbon barrel aged. Hop front followed by the oak and bourbon...odd.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a dark red-brown with a thin light khaki head that dissipates to patches. Aroma of biscuit malt, bourbon and oak; slight grassy hops. Flavor of light caramel malt, vanilla, oak, hints of orange and nuts, light bourbon, somewhat sweet. Finishes with vanilla, light bourbon, particularly the sweet fruit flavors of bourbon, and mild grassy hops. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. An interesting oak aged ale that seems to not really fit any category. The style assigned here seems to be the goal: a moderate malty well hopped ale, but by American standards, the hops are rather mild. The interaction of the lightly caramel malt and barrel character is very nice, with good fruit, oak and vanilla flavors. The finish is mild and would have been a disappointment except that the residual mild flavors are quite nice; residual fruit, a surprising amount of vanilla and light bourbon. Really a pleasant drinker with subdued, but flavorful barrelling elements. I look forward to trying other offerings from this brewery.

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Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.42/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle served cold into a chalice. Purchased with a box for about $4.95 CDN.

Appearance - dark brown color, hazy and a small half finger of tan head. Modest retention.

Smell - bourbon, vanilla and some oak. Nose is subtle when beer is cold.

Taste - some roasty flavours, coffee, bourbon a hint of vanilla. Interesting blend of flavours with a kiss of powdered dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel - smooth but fizzy. Body is thin.

Overall - not a bad offering from I&G but lacking a big bold flavor profile that just doesn't quite come together cohesively.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle-in-a-carton from the LCBO; best before Aug 31 2017 and served slightly chilled.

Pours a dark, clear copper-burgundy colour, generating a half-cm of soapy, bubbly, light beige-coloured head that swiftly degenerates to a sickly-thin collar. The surface is otherwise bare, save for a few wisps - the same can be said of the interior surface of the glass, which is free from lace. Falls a little flat visually, but the aroma manages to pique my interest once more, with its fruity notes of black cherries, dates and prunes, as well as hints of earthy, floral, tea-leafy hops. Toasted oak, toffee and molasses sweetness are understated but noticeable, with toasted nuts, orange peel and bourbon rounding the nose out nicely.

A respectable strong ale that is English in style (though the oak and bourbon blur the lines somewhat). Sweet flavours of toffee, treacle, toasted bread and nuts start things off right, followed by notes of plum, raisin, date, orange peel and fig. The earthy, leafy, somewhat herbal flavours of the hops provide an appropriate counterpoint, while familiar flavours of oak and vanilla mingle in the background. Finishes with a nice bourbon note, which leaves a slight boozy sweetness in the aftertaste. Medium-bodied, with light carbonation that gently prickles the palate, resulting in a smooth-textured strong ale that sips nicely.

Final Grade: 3.8, a B+. Innis & Gunn's Hopped Bourbon Cask Ale is a pretty decent effort - perhaps because they went to the trouble of using actual first fill bourbon casks for this one (instead of just infused oak chips), the bourbon flavours were given a chance to put their stamp on this ale, and more or less manage to. The hops chosen also suit the flavour profile quite well. I like this more than most of the other I&G one-offs, seasonals and "limited editions" that I've tried in recent years... but at 7 bucks a pop, it probably won't be a regular purchase for me. I&G enthusiasts will surely appreciate this one, but if you don't fall into that category then don't expect anything earth-shattering.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16.9 ounce bottle, best by date of 30 JUN 2017 stamped on the bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a clear reddish/copper color with about a couple inch light tan head that stayed around for a while. There's a small amout of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like dark bread/bready malt, vanilla, bourbon, dark fruit, brown sugar, oak, and herbal hops. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some earthiness, caramel, nuts, and candied oranges noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating and a bit creamy with a decent amount of carbonation. I thought it was a good enough brew, I enjoyed it. $7.99 a bottle.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice, what seems like a darker and stronger British ESB with a good amount of oak, and a light underlying bourbon in the aroma and flavor. Glad to have tried it, and will probably again for the $7 pricetag. Cheers!

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 6/30/2017. Pours crystal clear deep reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and fluffy khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, raisin, apple, toffee, brown sugar, brown bread, cherry, orange, vanilla, toasted oak, and herbal/floral hops; with lighter notes of bourbon, chocolate, nuttiness, and oak/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, citrus/earthy hops, fruity yeast, and light-moderate bourbon barrel notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, raisin, apple, toffee, brown sugar, brown bread, cherry, orange, vanilla, toasted oak, and herbal/floral hops; with lighter notes of bourbon, chocolate, nuttiness, and oak/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/spicy bitterness and tannic oak on the the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, brown bread, vanilla, oak, raisin, apple, cherry, orange, light bourbon, and oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for while. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, citrus/earthy hops, fruity yeast, and light-moderate bourbon barrel flavors; with a nice malt/bitterness balance, and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Minimal dryness. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready, and slightly silky/sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Zero warming alcohol for 7.4%. Overall this is a very good barrel aged English strong ale. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, citrus/earthy hops, fruity yeast, and light-moderate bourbon barrel flavors; very smooth and easy to drink. Not a whole lot of bourbon presence, but you still get a nice amount of vanilla/toffee notes from the barrel; and nice unique fruity flavors from the dry hopping. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Tone
4.26/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear, brown color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and slight lacing. Smells of sweet malt, caramel malt, tea, and spicy hops. Fits the style of an American Amber / Red Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of strong sweet malt, caramel malt, tea, spicy hops, hint of wood, and hint of liquor. Overall, great feel, good body, blend, and complexity; definitely not a liquor bomb.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.54/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle, in the typical special release white cardboard sleeve. Actually Bourbon barrel-aged, and then dry-hopped with the Ahtanum and Hallertau Hersbruker varietals.

This beer pours a clear, dark red-brick brown colour, with one flabby finger of puffy, very loosely foamy, and bubbly beige head, which leaves a bit of remote islet profile lace around the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of somewhat acrid orange peel, muddled dark orchard fruit, some overly floral rosewater, grainy caramel malt, a hint of ephemeral roastiness, and a sense of alcohol love unrequited. The taste is bready and doughy caramel malt, some subtle cherry, orange, and overripe apple fruitiness, hard to really notice or pin down barrel notes, and a generally tame earthy, leafy, and sort of perfumed floral green hoppiness.

The carbonation is pretty much limited to a weakly probing frothiness, the body a decent medium weight, and more or less smooth, as the expected astringent esters wholly fail to materialize (so, um, 'good', I guess). It finishes well off-dry, the red ale malt lingering on, easily shedding any previously speculated at bitter essences.

Overall, for a first crack at using (purportedly) real barrels for their wood treatment, this comes across as rather underwhelming in that respect - why go through the expense of doing so, and then have virtually none of it show up in the resultant product? Who the hell knows with these guys - it's like there's a force field pulling back everything they produce to a saccharine, sweet tooth-friendly norm. Gah.

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Innis & Gunn Hopped Bourbon Cask Ale from Innis & Gunn
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 47 ratings